Essay On The Fisherman In Lawrence Sargent Hall's The Ledge

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Man is a product of two worlds— the one he inhabits and the one he strives to create. The fisherman in Lawrence Sargent Hall’s “The Ledge” is caught somewhere between the two. A calloused, hardworking man who lives in a cold corner of the world, he is a father, a husband, and a man. Hall uses the perception of others, the actions of the protagonist, and direct narration to ultimately expose the real, imperfect humanity of the fisherman. A part of the world around him, the opinions of others is a vital means by which Hall introduces the fisherman. Immediately present in “The Ledge” is the fisherman’s relationship with his wife, “She did not want him to go. It was Christmas morning.” (369). The wife’s reluctance to see her husband leave is indicative of their relationship and the caring man that the fisherman is— she wants Christmas, a day of joy and love, to be…show more content…
As the boat drifted away “the fisherman went blind with uncontainable rage. ‘Get back down there where you belong!’ he screamed” (377). The fisherman, in pure shock and disbelief of his imminent doom, lashed out at the boys he loves so dearly. While his words try to shelter the boy from the reality of the situation, it is his inability to conceal his anger that instead allows them to understand what is happening. The fisherman tries to take control of a situation he clearly cannot control, “Dad,’ asked the boy steadily, ‘what do we do now?’...’The first thing we have to do,’ he heart himself saying with infinite tenderness… ‘is think” (378). Before he can even think of what to do, the fisherman is trying to instruct others and, ultimately, save them. As the fisherman develops his plan for their rescue, the situation grows more dire and the inevitability of their fate grows more apparent. The fisherman’s actions in the face of imminent danger exemplify his protective leadership and will to
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